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Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) developed PDCAAS for the measurement of protein value in human nutrition. The method is based on comparison of the concentration of the first limiting indispensable amino acid (IAA) in the test protein with the concentration of that amino acid in a reference (scoring) pattern, which was updated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2005. This scoring pattern is derived from the IAA requirements of the preschool-age child. The chemical score obtained in this way is corrected for true fecal digestibility of the test protein. PDCAAS values higher than 100% are not accepted as such but are truncated to 100%.¹

Although the principle of the PDCAAS method has been widely accepted, questions have been raised in the scientific community about 1) the validity of the preschool-age child amino acid requirement values, 2) the validity of correction for fecal instead of ileal digestibility and 3) the truncation of PDCAAS values to 100%. Also, the scoring pattern does not include conditionally indispensable amino acids, which also contribute to the nutrition value of a protein.¹

The PDCAAS of any individual protein source is most meaningful when the protein being evaluated is the sole source of dietary protein. Because dietary intake generally includes multiple protein sources with varying amino acid patterns, an individual's protein requirements are affected by the other components of the diet as well as the overall level of dietary protein and energy. ² Accurate evaluation of any individual diet should include the cumulative amounts of all amino acids consumed.

Pro-Stat® Profile™ is a complete protein supplement providing the IOM 2005 IAA pattern (PDCAAS=100%) in addition to high-nitrogen conditionally indispensable and dispensable amino acids.

For more information on Pro-Stat® Profile™, click here.

¹Journal of Nutrition. 2000;130:1865S-1867S. © 2000 The American Society for Nutritional Sciences

² Castellanos VH, Litchford M, Campbell W, Modular protein supplements and their application to long-term care. Nutrition in Clinical Practice.2006:21: 485-504